our own glory

tropicana nasturtium, originally uploaded by pilgrimgirl.

“I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.'

If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that.

The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.”
~Maya Angelou


Anonymous said...

"So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry."

Hmm...I never think of apologizing to myself, only other people. I just get mad at myself.

What a nice idea. I think I'll try to try it. (Why is it so hard to consciously commit to being kind to oneself?)

That is a delicious nasturtium. I haven't seen that variety before. Nasturtiums (nasturtia?) always make me think of growing up in Southern California, of the banks and banks of them around the tumble-down early- to mid-century "Spanish" homes where I grew up, most of which are probably gone now, replaced by something shinier. (Please forgive me if I have talked to you of this before. It's just such a nice memory button.)

Lessie said...

I think the difficult part about forgiving ourselves is that sometimes we have to deal with the unpleasant consequences of our actions. So even though we wouldn't make the same mistake twice, we may have to deal with the first mistake indefinitely. That makes it rather hard to stop being angry at oneself.
Still, I like this quote and the idea of compassion towards the self.

Alisa said...

I think these ideas are really important. Thank you for sharing them with me.

Also, I love this picture!

Doe said...

There is something incredibly powerful about being ready to face the consequences of one's actions while saying, "There's nothing wrong here; I forgive myself."